Don't Leave the Kids at Home
Vail's kids' programs cut this mega-resort down to child-size. The resort is expensive, but you get what you pay for. With three locations, the Small World Playschool minds wee non-skiers. The price is steep ($62 a day during regular season, $70 during peak season, which runs from December 26 through January 2 and again February 13 to April 3), but the staff and facilities are first-rate. Vail's abundant ski and snowboard instruction programs, headquartered at Lionshead and Golden Peak, are tailored for three-year-olds through teens. Mini-Mice is for potty-trained three-year-olds, Mogul Mice for four-year-olds to kindergarteners, and Superstars for children of those ages who can ride lifts and are mountain skiers. Eight- to 14-year-olds can take skiing or snowboarding lessons with their peers.
For entertainment, nothing in skidom beats Vail's Adventure Ridge, accessed by gondola (the ride is free in the evening), with night skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice skating, laser tag, and more. On-snow, ski-through theme parks for small children are the country's most elaborate and imaginative, while snowboarders love the great terrain features and halfpipes. Children's trail maps, outstanding kid-only rental shops, phone lines dispensing kids' and teens' activity info, and a matchless arrangement of organized evening family entertainment make Vail truly outstanding. The resort even has several children's-only ski and snowboard shops for gear and clothing. Neighboring Beaver Creek, under the same ownership, has similar programs.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication